At the Origins of Welfare State? Social Expenses in the Budgetary Policy in the Second Polish Republic

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Paweł Grata

Abstract

In the period of the Second Polish Republic, social policy became an important field of activity for public authorities. It was distinguished by a high level of awareness of the prevalent social problems, progressive legislation, and advanced management. The only missing element was sufficient financing. In the budgetary policy of the Second Polish Republic, social expenses were of minor importance. For the most part of the period, they amounted to approximately 3% of all expenses. The Ministry of Social Care was underfunded, which was evident in nearly every aspect of its activity. Hence, if one wonders if the origins of the Polish welfare state can be traced back to the Second Polish Republic, the answer must be “no”. Although extra funds (spent on tackling unemployment, pensions, or disability benefits) were found outside of the ministerial budget, the arguments presented in this article only confirm the hypothesis presented above.

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How to Cite
Grata, P. (2018). At the Origins of Welfare State? Social Expenses in the Budgetary Policy in the Second Polish Republic. Studia Historiae Oeconomicae, 35, 7-26. https://doi.org/10.2478/sho-2017-0002
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Author Biography

Paweł Grata, University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów

Paweł Grata (born 1971), dr hab., professor at the University of Rzeszów. His academic interests focus on Polish social policy in the 20th century, economic policy of the Second Polish Republic and economic and social transformation in south-eastern Poland in the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century. he is the author of over one hundred academic publications, including four original monographs: “Polityka społeczna Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej. Uwarunkowania – instytucje - działania” [Social policy in the Second Polish Republic. Conditions – institutions – actions], “Monopole skarbowe w polityce podatkowej Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej” [Fiscal monopolies in the fiscal policy in the Second Polish Republic], „Miejsce monopoli skarbowych w reformie stabilizacyjnej Władysława Grabskiego (1923-1925)” [The role of fiscal monopolies in the stabilization reform of Władysław Grabski], „Przemysł gorzelniczy w II Rzeczypospolitej” [Spirit industry in the Second Polish Republic]. He was also an editor for 11 collective monographs, including five volumes of the “Studies on Polish Social Policy of the 20th and 21st centuries” and participated in numerous scientific conferences, both national and international.

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